Literary Road Map of Islington

  • 20
  • Aug

Celebrate our borough's long, rich heritage of authors, screenwriters, poets and writers who live or work here.

Literary Road Map of Islington celebrates our borough’s long, rich heritage of authors, screenwriters, poets and writers who have lived here, and the literary works which have been inspired by or set here.

Writers, such as Charles Dickens (1812-1870), have used various locations around Islington in their novels, from Archway in the north to Clerkenwell in the south. Other authors, such as Andrea Levy (1956-2019) were born and grew up in the borough.

The writers and works are listed according to which area of Islington they have a connection with – north, south, east/central and west. Search the list to see which writer has lived near you, or some of the novels, plays and poems which been written about your neighbourhood.

Have we missed anyone or anything? Let us know by filling out a card and handing it to a librarian, tweet @Islingtonlibs, or send an email.

Please do be considerate of living writers’ privacy on social media, as some may not want their addresses to be made public.

Follow in their footsteps by joining one of the four walks by Islington Guided Walks around Islington throughout July – ‘A Clerkenwell Literary Trail’ ‘Up and Down the Holloway Road’, ‘The Angel and its Authors’ and ‘Books and Barnsbury’. All walks are free, but you do need to book.

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Charlesworth, Kate

Sensible Footware - A Girl's Guide (2019)

The LGBT+ cartoonist and activist lived in Rawstorne Street, Clerkenwell.

Akala

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire (2019). The BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, writer and social entrepreneur details his life in Archway and his time at Acland Burghley School in Tufnell Park. [

Burnett, Gilbert Bishop of Salisbury Copy

1643-1715

History of the Reformation of the Church of England (1679). The Bishop lived in Clerkenwell and was described by John Dryden (1631-1700) as “a portly prince and goodly to the sight.”

Aaronovitch, Ben

(1964-)

Whispers Under Ground (2012). The third Rivers of London novel is set in Tufnell Park. [CT]

Ackerman, Len

In Their Footsteps (2014), And Now They Are Ghosts (2015) and No Place for Angels (2018). He was born in and grew up in Packington Street and has written three books, all set in Islington.

Ackroyd, Peter

1949-

Clerkenwell Tales (2003) and other titles. His stories are set in and around Clerkenwell and in The House of Dr Dee (1993), Dr Dee lives at the site of what is the Clerks’ Well (14-16 Farringdon Lane).

Adams, Douglas

1952-2001

Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy (1979) and other titles. Adams lived in Duncan Terrace and used the estate agent Hotblack Desiato’s name as a character. He also lived in a flat on Upper Street and sofa-surfed in a friend’s house in Arlington Avenue.

Adams, Richard

1920-2016

Watership Down (1974) and other titles. Lived and wrote at 26 St Paul’s Place from 1952-1974.

Arnott, Jake

1961-

The Fatal Tree (2017). Arnott’s work of historical fiction looks at the life and crimes of Jack Sheppard from the point of view of his wife Edgeware Bess, as they move around Clerkenwell and other parts of London.

Baird, Nicola

Coconut Wireless (2010) and other titles. The journalist and author of the Islington Faces blog lives in north Islington.

Blackman, Andrew

1965-

On the Holloway Road (2009). Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, the novel is set over one windy night on Holloway Road.

Brellend, Kay

The Street (2011) and other titles. Books set in Campbell Road known locally as Campbell Bunk (now Whadcoat Street).